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Labeling Theory (Howard Becker)_Presentation by Hazhuna

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Jhonnelle Dela Paz

on 15 November 2013

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Transcript of Labeling Theory (Howard Becker)_Presentation by Hazhuna


this criminal label is placed on an individual during what is known as a "degradation ceremony" in which the accused is officially labeled as a criminal. Often this takes place during court sentencing, but can come about in more subtle fashions as well.
Labeling Theory
What is Labeling Theory?
Labeling theory is based on the idea that behaviors are deviant only when society labels them as deviant.
is an American sociologist who has made major contributions to the sociology of deviance, sociology of art, and sociology of music
Becker's 1963 book Outsiders is credited as one of the first books on labeling theory and its application to studies of deviance.
Howard Saul Becker was born April 18, 1928 in Chicago, IL.
It was through his work as a musician Becker first became exposed to drug culture, which he would later study.
Hard Labeling

People who believe in hard labeling believe that mental illness does not exist. It is merely deviance from the norms of society that people attribute to mental illness. Thus, mental illnesses are socially constructed illnesses and psychotic disorders do not exist.
Soft Labeling

People who believe in soft labeling believe that mental illnesses do, in fact, exist. Unlike the supporters of hard labeling, soft labeling supporters believe that mental illnesses are not socially constructed but are objective problems.

It begins with an initial criminal act, after which a person may be labeled as deviant or criminal but does not yet accept this label. By this it is meant that they do not think of themselves as being a criminal, it is this lack of viewing themselves as criminal that differentiates primary from secondary deviance
Howard S. Becker, Erwin Lemert & Émile Durkheim
Social Reaction Theory/ Societal Reaction Theory

According to Becker, not all individuals who are labeled deviant must remain deviant, however once labeled deviant it becomes more likely an individual will take deviant paths.

Powerful individuals within society
(politicians, judges, police officers, etc.) typically impose the most significant labels
Labeled persons may include
drug addicts, alcoholics, criminals, delinquents, prostitutes, sex offenders, and psychiatric patients, to mention a few.
Labelling theory
has many
. Those are, no acts are inherently criminal, there can be a process of self-labelling, it covers or is supposed to cover all criminal activity, depends on the members of the society or those that do the labelling and finally it depends on the personality of the individual.

However, there are already inherent drawbacks with the drawbacks given by various individual sociologists. Those are that society changes, and so does labelling.
Individuals can rationalize their ‘deviant' behaviour

We can thus conclude that labelling
theory does have an effect
, and is not the primary cause for most of the acts committed.

The End!
Erwin Lemert
is credited with being the founder of what is called the "Societal Reaction" theory. This is the precursor to the social reaction or labeling theory which has present day acceptance and includes many of the same concepts. To better understand Labeling Theory, familiarization with Lemert's Societal Reaction Theory is beneficial.
The theory claims that for a criminal to be successfully labeled,
an audience
must be present to provide a reaction to the crimes committed
Labeling theory

concerns itself not with the normal roles that define our lives, but with those
very special roles
that society provides for deviant behavior,

called deviant roles,

stigmatic roles, or social stigma
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